NEW YORK — William Damage, whose laconic charisma and confident subtlety as an actor made him one of many Nineteen Eighties foremost main males in motion pictures corresponding to “Broadcast Information,” “Physique Warmth” and “The Large Chill,” has died. He was 71.
Damage’s son, Will, mentioned in a press release that Damage died Sunday of pure causes. Damage died peacefully, amongst household, his son mentioned. The Hollywood Reporter mentioned he died at his dwelling in Portland, Oregon. Deadline first reported Damage’s loss of life. Damage was beforehand identified with prostate most cancers that had unfold to the bone in 2018.
In a long-running profession, Damage was 4 occasions nominated for an Academy Award, successful for 1985’s “Kiss of the Spider Lady.” After his breakthrough in 1980’s Paddy Chayefsky-scripted “Altered States” as a psychopathologist learning schizophrenia and experimenting with sensory deprivation, Damage rapidly emerged as a mainstay of the ’80s.
In Lawrence Kasdan’s 1981 steamy neo noir “Physique Warmth,” Damage starred alongside Kathleen Turner as a lawyer coaxed into homicide. In 1983’s “The Large Chill,” once more with Kasdan, Damage performed the brooding Vietnam Warfare veteran Nick Carlton, one in all a bunch of faculty buddies who collect for his or her good friend’s funeral.
Damage, whose father labored for the State Division, traveled broadly as a baby whereas attending prep college in Massachusetts. Damage studied performing at Julliard and first emerged on the New York stage with the Circle Repertory Firm. After “The Large Chill,” he returned to the stage to star on Broadway in David Rabe’s “Hurlyburly,” for which he was nominated for a Tony.
Shortly after got here “Kiss of the Spider Lady,” which received Damage the most effective actor Oscar for his efficiency as a homosexual prisoner in a repressive South American dictatorship.
“I’m very proud to be an actor,” Damage mentioned, accepting the award.
In 1986’s “Kids of a Lesser God,” it was his co-star, Marlee Matlin, who took the Oscar for her efficiency as a custodian at a faculty for the deaf. Damage performed a speech trainer. For Damage and Matlin, their romance was off-screen, as properly — nevertheless it wasn’t Damage’s first expertise together with his personal life discovering notoriety.
Damage was first married to actor Mary Beth Damage (additionally a “Large Chill” co-star) from 1971 to 1982. Whereas he was married, he started a relationship with Sandra Jennings, whose being pregnant with their son precipitated Damage’s divorce from Mary Beth Damage. A high-profile courtroom case ensued six years later wherein Jennings claimed she had been Damage’s common-law spouse underneath South Carolina legislation and thus entitled to a share of his earnings. A New York courtroom dominated in Damage’s favor, however the actor continued to have a strained relationship with fame.
“Appearing is a really intimate and personal factor,” Damage informed The New York Instances in 1983. “The artwork of performing requires as a lot solitude because the artwork of writing. Yeah, you bump up towards different folks, however it’s a must to study a craft, method. It’s work. There’s this odd factor that my performing is assumed to be this clamor for consideration to my individual, as if I wanted a lot love or a lot consideration that I might quit my proper to be a personal individual.”
In her 2009 memoir, Matlin detailed bodily and emotional abuse throughout their relationship. On the time of its publishing, Damage issued an apology saying: “My very own recollection is that we each apologized and each did an ideal deal to heal our lives.”
In these years, Damage additionally struggled with drug and alcohol abuse, and attended rehabilitation clinics. He additionally developed a repute for not at all times being a simple collaborator. The New Yorker known as him “notoriously temperamental.” In 1989, Damage married to Heidi Henderson, who he met at rehab. They’d two kids collectively. Damage additionally had a daughter with French actress and filmmaker Sandrine Bonnaire, whom he met whereas making the straight-to-video 1992 Albert Camus adaptation “The Plague.”
Amongst Damage’s biggest performances was James L. Brooks’ 1987 comedy “Broadcast Information,” as a slick however light-weight anchorman who symbolized the rising fusion of leisure and journalism.
Albert Brooks, Damage’s “Broadcast Information” co-star, was among the many many who responded to Damage’s passing Sunday. “So unhappy to listen to this information,” wrote Brooks on Twitter. “Working with him on ‘Broadcast Information’ was superb. He will likely be significantly missed.”
After his torrid ‘80s run, Damage fell more and more out of favor with filmmakers within the ’90s, and a few reasoned that it was due to his repute. Damage, nevertheless, continued to defend his method, telling The Los Angeles Instances in 1994 that “I give extra by fixing the reality than by pandering to expectations and facile hopes.”
“If a director tells me to make the viewers suppose or really feel a sure factor, I’m instantaneously in revolt,” Damage mentioned. “I’m not there to make anybody else suppose or really feel something particular. I’ve agreed to one thing the entire piece says. Past that it’s my solely obligation to unravel the reality of the piece. I don’t owe anyone something — together with the director.”